Vacant Property Rates Soar In Over Half Of U.S. Local Housing Markets

Tyler Durden's picture

According to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions published earlier today, vacant property rates are once again increasing in many markets across the country but perhaps not for the reasons you might think.  While so-called pre-foreclosure "zombie" properties have declined some 22% YoY, overall vacant property rates in 54% of the 149 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed by ATTOM actually increased due to, among other things, increasing ownership rates by investors as opposed to actual homeowners.

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s largest multi-sourced property database, today released its 2017 U.S. Residential Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report, which shows nearly 1.4 million (1,367,793) U.S. residential properties (1 to 4 units) were vacant as of the end of the third quarter of 2017 — representing 1.58 percent of all U.S. residential properties.


The 1.58 percent vacant property rate nationwide decreased slightly from 1.63 percent a year ago, but vacant property rates increased from a year ago in 81 of the 149 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report (54 percent), including Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Baltimore and Phoenix.


The report also shows that the number of vacant “zombie” pre-foreclosure properties — which have started the foreclosure process but have not yet been repossessed by the foreclosing lender — decreased 22 percent from a year ago to 14,312 as of the end of Q3 2017, 67 percent below the peak of 44,030 in Q3 2013. The number of vacant bank-owned properties decreased 48 percent from a year ago to 24,026 as of the end of Q3 2017.


“Zombie foreclosures have dwindled dramatically over the last four years as a supply-starved housing has soaked up even some of the most highly distressed properties,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “There are still pockets of the country with high zombie foreclosure rates, and high vacant property rates in general, primarily in the Rust Belt and parts of the Northeast and Southeast — driven in large part by a high share of non-owner occupied vacant properties in those areas.


“There is evidence that the ultra-tight inventory environment in some red-hot markets is beginning to ease just a bit, with vacant property rates nudging higher in markets such as San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Denver,” Blomquist added.

Not surprisingly, some of the highest vacancy rates were observed in mid-western markets like Flint, Michigan and Baltimore.

Among 149 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 residential properties (1 to 4 units), those with the highest vacancy rates were Flint, Michigan (6.89 percent); Youngstown, Ohio (4.49 percent); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (3.80 percent); Detroit, Michigan (3.77 percent); and Mobile, Alabama (3.77 percent).


Among 405 counties with at least 50,000 residential properties, those with the highest vacancy rates were Baltimore City, Maryland (8.14 percent); Saint Louis City, Missouri (6.97 percent); Beaufort County, South Carolina (6.94 percent); Genesee County, Michigan (6.89 percent); and Wayne County, Michigan (6.76 percent).


Among 13,616 U.S. zip codes with at least 1,000 residential properties, those with the highest vacancy rates were led by three zip codes in the city of Gary, Indiana: 46409 (30.26 percent); 46407 (29.62 percent); and 46402 (29.53 percent), followed by 48505 in Flint, Michigan (29.00 percent); and 44507 in Youngstown, Ohio (25.97 percent).

And while "zombie" foreclosures are down nationwide, a staggering total of 14,312 properties in the foreclosure process remained vacant as of the end of Q3 2017, representing 4.2.% of all properties in foreclosure.

States with the most of these vacant “zombie” foreclosures were New York (3,528), New Jersey (2,261), Florida (1,963), Illinois (999), and Ohio (974).


Among 149 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 residential properties (1 to 4 units), those with the most vacant “zombie” foreclosures were New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (3,106); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (813), Chicago, Illinois (665), Miami, Florida (571), and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida (477).

Meanwhile, a stunning 24% of "investment" properties in Flint, Michigan found themselves without a tenet at the end of Q3 2017...

Nationwide more than 1 million non-owner occupied (investment) residential properties (1,032,851) were vacant, representing 4.30 percent of all non-owner occupied residential properties and unchanged from a year ago.


States with the highest vacancy rate for non-owner occupied (investment) properties were Michigan (9.84 percent); Indiana (9.52 percent); Kansas (7.11 percent); Mississippi (6.92 percent); and Alabama (6.83 percent).


Among 149 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 residential properties (1 to 4 units), those with the highest vacancy rate for non-owner occupied (investment) properties were Flint, Michigan (23.64 percent); Youngstown, Ohio (12.01 percent); Detroit, Michigan (11.88 percent); South Bend, Indiana (10.47 percent); and Indianapolis, Indiana (10.46 percent).

...which presumably makes them not such a great "investment".

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Ban KKiller's picture

James Madison writes about this....he sure hates the banksters.

max2205's picture

The ones in Baltimore don't even have roofs 

Stan522's picture

Who the fuck would buy distressed property in Baltimore, whether you intend to live in it, or "fix-er-upper" it?

HRH Feant2's picture

Great minds think alike! Why the fuck would you want to be a landlord in Baltimore or St. Louis? Sounds like a nightmare unless you playing the Section 8 game. Being a slumlord isn't my idea of a good time. Not ever.

J bones's picture

St louis city maybe. County no all surrounding counties are just fine.

MozartIII's picture

Did you forget about East St Lous. South western counties below St Louis?


Stupid is as stupid says. Am a contractor that has worke in the whole market. Your full of shit!

Croesus's picture

Any second now, the NAR will pump it up..."Now's a great time to buy..."

Xena fobe's picture

Chinese.  Need to develop for the millions planning to establish colonies.

PlayMoney's picture

He also wrote about the Feds balance sheet. Oct 4th it was 4.460 Trillion. As of yesterday it was 4.461 Trillion. $1Billion higher than towards the first of the month. Anyone remember them saying they would dump $10Billion per month starting this month? Sep 27th it was 4.455 Trillion. Surely the Fed wasn't full of shit about reducing its balance sheet...or can they dump $11 billion in 3 days?

dirtyfiles's picture

green shots ..better then

Creative_Destruct's picture

Sustainable recovery...NOT...artificial inorganic money-pumped bubble...YEP.

warpigs's picture

I am happy to be a property wholesaler as well....good times are a comin. No, I don't wish pain on folks, but someone has to mop up distressed homes. #bitches

dirtyfiles's picture

and I'm wholesale property many do you have in my price range of < $100,000 single family house no older then 1975 

Xena fobe's picture

Because of you, first time buyers can no longer buy fixer uppers.  Rot in hell, evil creature.

Wrenching Away's picture

"Not surprisingly, some of the highest vacancy rates were observed in mid-western markets like Flint, Michigan and Baltimore."

Baltimore is the Midwest?

P4K's picture

If it's not NYC, SF, or LA, it's "midwest."

RawPawg's picture

No Fear

I gots some Silver 1 oz'ers warming up in the bullpen

gonna be going on a new type of Buying Spree


MATA HAIRY's picture

so...roughly half of the metro areas had an increase in vacant properties...and therefore roughly half of the metro areas had an DECREASE in vacant properties....shocking!

Lost in translation's picture

Nothing that the invasion of several million more Mexicans and Muslims can’t fix.

Falling Down's picture

We all know what the cocksucker bankers and realtors did since the housing bubble burst, they parked houses on the sidelines. They collaborated, I've seen holding companies which sprung up around 2010 or so, in various metros, that are partnerships between banks and cocksucker realtors, who thought they'd make out OK once the housing market bounced back.


The housing market never recovered, and now that foreclosures are up, and the market sucks for most realtors, they're trying to reduce inventories in those holding co's, they simply cannot afford to keep them, anymore. I've seen houses in the Sun Belt listed recently for less than half of what they sold for between '04 and '06, when all the flipping was going on. It's all bullshit.

I moved out of Columbia, SC, in '10 when things were still bad there. Out of roughly 50 houses on that street, at least 6 are zombie properties, vacant from around '08 and into '09, that were parked off-market, but lo-and-behold are magically back on tbe market within the last 6 months. Those fucking houses on my old street have been vacant this whole time. Imagine the mold, bugs, deterioration, etc. Straight fucked. One of them was owned by a young guy who financed with Chase at age 19, while in college! Then he dropped out, stopped payments, squatted, then abandoned the house when he got deployed with his Guard unit.

I expect this to become another crisis created by the elites. There have to be hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of zombie properties across the U.S.

Paul E. Math's picture

Thumbs up for gratuitous use of the word 'cocksucker'.

E5's picture

Agreed.  Though if we were to be fair to all all the time we would need an acronym to capture all of the gender and preference debasing terms.  I think someone should do a post explaining what is included and proclaim the said acronym.  Cocksucker, pussy licker, ass fucker, etc... CPA... you get the drift.

DEMIZEN's picture

the flyover millenials are leaving LA, more baby making blacks coming to capitalize on cash assistance, according to car salesmen and uber drivers.

krispkritter's picture

After being raped for taxes for more than a decade after running afoul of vindictive cunts from the Property Appraisers office who sicced the building codes enforcement office on me, I've sold and will be going mobile. Until I find a worthwhile property with no building codes(yes, they still exist) and low tax rates, I'm packing up and moving on via the road.  Every property I've owned has been a never-ending pit of repairs, taxes, lousy tenants, and market fails. All I see now is another bubble ready to pop and while I don't know if it will surpass the '08 bust, I am not willing to participate in the farce any longer.  All those who own and feel safe, I can only point to the ZH article where states are raising property taxes to cover pensions, deficits, etc., that's a bomb that's looking like it will go off eventually, everywhere.  Property taxes should be abolished; I pay for schools when I have no kids.  I pay for fire departments when I have my own protection and theirs is 20 minutes away.  I pay for roads when mine aren't paved and my drive over 1/2 mile long is my responsibility even though the county has 'right of way'. I pay three times what the 40x larger land owner next door does which is owned by a corporation and due to green-belting, even though they lease it for $100k a year but are based in another county, pay no taxes in this county.  The system is broken in every regard; take the the pols, they take whatever is given and then vote for more taxes, on your backs, not theirs.  In what fucking society does the populace pay millions(possibly billions) to elect pieces of human garbage to an office that is paid what, 4-5-6 times, the average wage of the population, and can vote for their own raises with no term limits and bill the taxpayer for the perks(basically for life).  We have ass-hat wearing retards trying to scold the POTUS on decorum(glitter much bitch? Wilson), gun wearing douchebags trying to enact gun grabs(Feinstein), double-dealing cunts(Pelosi) enriching themselves(among many), and the completely fetid, shit-bag, rapists that make up the Clinton dynasty.  At what point is not 'draining the swamp' necessary but having any elected official removed for violating the tone and verse of the Constitution, not only an imperative, but their refusal to leave office branded treason(stripping them of all benefits) and resulting in expulsion or upon jury trial, banishment or execution. And yeah, Hollywood, thanks for the videos you Progressive-activist assholes.  You're in the crosshairs(sorry, is that triggering?).

May just be the bourbon talking but for f's sake, we've had enough, yes? Time to start punching back.

Lost in translation's picture

Pour another glass. Make it a double.

Then post some more.

Most inspiring rant I’ve read all week ^

FreeNewEnergy's picture

How are there possibly two people who downvoted you for commenting on a truly awesome comment.

There is a disturbance in the matrix and it is the people I know who have never watched Fight Club.

Omen IV's picture

public schools need to be a county option - if schools are to be provided then the tuition needs to be shared - 90/10 and over 5 years switch to 10/90 with parents picking up the 90% - multiple kids require cash upfront before registration or move out of the county  - no reason to educate 70 IQ which are not educable

The Ram's picture

Yes, I have always thought that parents should pay for public schools up front.  This will give people incentive to have less kids or work 24/7 to pay for the multiple kids that they do have.  Also, parents may pay more attention to their children's education when they have to pay out of pocket.  

GWinColby@ks's picture

No reason to send a severely handicap person to school.  The district had to buy a handicap bus, provide a special instructor for one here.  He passed at 16. WTF? They spent untold amounts of money for many years (10).  When the child passed, he still could not communicate, most unfortunate.

Bigly's picture


And spot on in each sentence.


FreeNewEnergy's picture

States with the most of these vacant “zombie” foreclosures were New York (3,528), New Jersey (2,261), Florida (1,963), Illinois (999), and Ohio (974).

I live in NY (upstate) and I can (WTF? why can I not un-bold?) tell you there are zombie props everywhere, the taxes are absurd (lawyers would call them XXX). Please, krispkritter, keep ranting. I'm only on my third drink and about to hit the pipe for the second time, let's roll!

Falling Down's picture

Damn right. I'm from Rochester originally, Wayne County, NY, has some of the highest property tax rates in the U.S., but look at how many houses people walked away from, there. Fucking staggering. I've seen decent houses there go for $50K, but who the fuck would want to live there???

Miss Informed's picture

The banks have set up a Potempkin village to keep people buying in at higher and higher prices. They don’t care about a crash because they will seize properties they paid for with money made from book entries. They will get more bailouts from the Federal Government. Some of us have seen this before.......

Drop-Hammer's picture

Do everything possible to live apart and away from non-Caucasians.  Find like-minded evil YT's with whom to live amongst.  Will come in handy when we have to start exterminating the non-Caucasians.

Xena fobe's picture

Great advice for young people who will struggle their whole lives.  Young white people in multiethnic areas will have it tough getting  job promotions, affording a home, finding a suitable spouse, raising well adjusted kids.

FlKeysFisherman's picture

This is another reason the rich and powerful want the illegals to stay. They own most of the real estate and it would crash if we sent the illegals home.

moonmac's picture
After the Fed told Blackrock and Warren Buffet about their ‎artificial "Wealth Effect" scheme they went out and bought up half of America's existing housing supply. ‎ When the USA found out Colony and Berkshire were just low life slum lord scammers they found alternative housing arrangements.
FreeNewEnergy's picture

BINGO on Buffet. He's a major slumlord and major holder of Wells Fargo, the company that backs the scum like American Tax Funding, the company that bought up tax liens all over the country, in places like St. Louis, Hartfornd, Conn., Rochester and Syracuse, NY, many others.

The administration (mayors, city councils, etc.) in these cities are morally and intellectually bankrupt, as are their governments. Don't wait for these cities to implode, just do what you think is best, trust your instincts.

Yeah, liek many here on ZH, we've distrusted the stock markets and missed out on massive fiat gains, but it's all fake, phony, contrived.

Fannie and Freddie are still in recievership. The deficit is owed to bankers, so fuck them. We're living in a lawless society, so play accordingly.

Gawd, I hate fucking banks.

man from glad's picture

Maybe it's getting late and I'm tired, but am I the only one that cannot make any sense of those graphics?

Miss Informed's picture

It’s the 3D chessboard that Donald Trump plays on.

slightlyskeptical's picture

I am in palm beah area. I do house insurance inspections on the side. Lots of vacant rental properties. people but them and plan to rent them at the going outragous rental rates. I have been to many and its been six months without a bite. When the market breaks and it will, it is going to be an absolute bloodbath.  

I Write Code's picture

Bank-owned is mildly bullish, because the banks only take title to those they think they can make money on.

And even the zombie state is not what it seems, most of those are speculators, flippers, who never make payments, cuz that's how the book tells them it's done.  And for the most part the banks are in on that, too.

So yeah it's like 2007 again, but we can probably avoid another 2008.  Unfortunately.  Most of these speculators and banks should be in hell.

Singelguy's picture

In 2008 FASB scrapped rule 103c which required the banks to determine market value of all the hard assets underlying their mortgage portfolios. This had to be done on a monthly basis. This mark to market process was suspended n 2008 so the banks could mark the value to whatever they wanted. It made the banks look more solvent than they were. Once the banks actually foreclose, they are forced to realize the actual loss. As such, the banks will delay the final paperwork as long as possible. Therefore I am not surprised that so many properties sit vacant.

Shpedly's picture

If you look at the map, Kentucky is near all white. Don't ask me why but I can tell you that real estate agents and flippers are starving for lack of inventory. Craziest shit I've ever seen.

SirBarksAlot's picture

"If you look at the map, Kentucky is near all white."